Laurens J, Straumann D, Hess BJ
Processing of angular motion and gravity information through an internal model.
J Neurophysiol. 2010 Sep;104(3):1370-81
Authors: Laurens J, Straumann D, Hess BJ
The vestibular organs in the base of the skull provide important information about head orientation and motion in space. Previous studies have suggested that both angular velocity information from the semicircular canals and information about head orientation and translation from the otolith organs are centrally processed in an internal model of head motion, using the principles of optimal estimation. This concept has been successfully applied to model behavioral responses to classical vestibular motion paradigms. This study measured the dynamic of the vestibuloocular reflex during postrotatory tilt, tilt during the optokinetic afternystagmus, and off-vertical axis rotation. The influence of otolith signal on the VOR was systematically varied by using a series of tilt angles. We found that the time constants of responses varied almost identically as a function of gravity in these paradigms. We show that Bayesian modeling could predict the experimental results in an accurate and consistent manner. In contrast to other approaches, the Bayesian model also provides a plausible explanation of why these vestibulooculo motor responses occur as a consequence of an internal process of optimal motion estimation.
PMID: 20610780 [PubMed - in process]